Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes

2 12 2011

Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes

We’re in the middle of the holiday season with all of its requisite parties, dinners and general overindulgence. However, sometimes in the midst of festive meals and a few too many cocktails, we start to crave something a bit lighter. Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes is just the dish to serve: it’s on the lighter side but is still packed with lots of flavour.

What is Sablefish?

Sablefish is also commonly known as black cod, butterfish and sable. It is a mild, buttery white fish, typically caught in the North Pacific Ocean off British Columbia and Alaska. According to The Monterey Bay Aquarium and their Canadian counterpart, SeaChoice.org, sablefish is considered a ‘Best Choice’ for sustainability, meaning that stocks are abundant and well managed.

Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 sablefish (black cod) fillets weighing about 4 oz. (113 grams) each
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel (white part), sliced about 1/4“ thick
  • 12 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fennel fronds for garnish (optional)

For Crumb Topping:

  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs made from fresh bread (about 1 thick slice of bread)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (use a mortar and pestle or the side of a large knife to crush them)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs, oil, chopped thyme, fennel seed, salt and pepper and stir together until all breadcrumbs are moist. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper evenly over the fish fillets and set aside. Preheat the oven broiler and move the rack to the top position.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof, non-stick skillet on medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Add the fennel slices and sauté until they caramelize and turn a dark golden brown, about 14 minutes. Be sure to stir the fennel around so it doesn’t burn and remove any pieces that brown quickly.
  4. Once the fennel has caramelized, remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate. Return the skillet to the burner and turn heat to medium-high. Heat the remaining olive oil and place the sablefish fillets in the pan, skin side down.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the fish for two minutes. Carefully turn the fillets over and cook for another two minutes.
  6. Turn the fish once again, so the skin side is down. Add the cherry tomatoes, wine, garlic, thyme and lemon juice and cook for another 2-1/2 to 3 minutes or until the fillets are almost fully cooked through. Return the cooked fennel to the pan.
  7. Press a couple of spoonfuls of the breadcrumb mixture onto the top of each of the fillets. Place the skillet with the fish under the oven broiler, watching very carefully, until the crumbs turn golden and crisp, about one minute.
  8. To serve: Divide the caramelized fennel and tomatoes between four servings and mound in the centre of each plate. Place a piece of the sablefish on each portion of fennel/tomatoes and spoon the pan sauce over the fish.
  9. Garnish with a sprig of fennel frond, if desired, and serve immediately.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Copyright Trish Coleman. Please contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.

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Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream

6 02 2011

Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream

Is everyone sick of winter yet?  I know I am!  Take a break from the usual winter fare and treat yourself to something fresh and different: Fish Tacos. They are very popular in California and are showing up on menus as far north as Toronto.  They’re also fun to make at home so whip up some margaritas, put on some summery music and imagine you’re somewhere warm!

To get my recipe for Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream, check out Suite 101.com.

Enjoy!

The Seasonal Gourmet is going on a brief hiatus until the week of February 22nd. Check back then for some exciting new recipes and winter menu ideas!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





Sustainable Seafood

8 07 2009

iStock_000000771938XSmallNow that summer is here, many of us are choosing to eat lighter meals.  This often includes fish, either purchased from the market or (if you’re really lucky), freshly caught from a lake or river.  However, there are currently concerns about the over-fishing of some species, resulting in a depletion of their numbers.  Luckily there are some great resources available to help us make smarter choices to protect the fish population.

In the United States, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has detailed information about ocean and seafood issues and is used as a reference by restaurants, chefs and home cooks across North America. Their Seafood Recommendations are divided into categories based on sustainability. The fish under ‘Best Choice’ represent species that have been well managed (including farmed fish) and have not been over-fished.  The ‘Avoid’ category lists the fish that we should not be choosing due to the fragile state of their populations.  In some cases, reputable fish mongers have stopped selling some of these fish as well. To visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium website to learn more about smart fish choices, click here: The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

Vancouver-based Sea Choice works in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to provide information for Canadian consumers.  With the support of conservation organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club British Columbia, Sea Choice can help us make smart decisions when shopping for and ordering fish when dining out.  Visit seachoice.org for more information.

Both the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Sea Choice have free Apps for smart phones. It’s a convenient way to have the information about sustainable choices at your finger tips when shopping for seafood.

Cheers,

Trish